Michael Kinsley puts "Sarah Palin's Alaskanomics" (not to mention the GOP's insidious reverse snobbery) in perspective:
Back to reality. Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 21/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska's government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it [Michael Kinsley, "Sarah Palin's Alaskanomics," Time.com, 2008.09.09].
The numbers from The Tax Foundation: In the last three decades, Alaska has taken more money from the federal government than it has contributed in all but four years (1982–1985). In this decade, Alaska has seen a return of about $7 in federal spending for every $4 in federal tax paid.
Senator McCain's home state of Arizona has seen similar largesse from Washington: in every year since 1981, Arizona has taken more federal dollars than it has paid (though at a smaller ratio than Alaska, recently about $6 in for every $5 out).
Where do those extra dollars come from? Other states, like Illinois and Delaware. Since 1981, Illinois has never seen better than a 4:5 return on the federal taxes it pays. Obama's home state has always been in the bottom five of states in federal spending received per dollar of tax paid. Delaware ranks right alongside Illinois on that ratio, consistently paying more than it gets back from Washington.
And the local perspective: South Dakota has ranked in the top 10 in the federal spending–tax ratio in all but five years since 1981. In 2005, we got $1.53 back from Washington for every $1 we paid. Thanks, Minnesota (federal spending–tax ratio in 2005: $0.72).
So who has the entitlement mentality here, Republicans or Democrats? The Dems obviously believe in paying their way and then some, while the Republicans think money comes magically from tax cuts and doublespeak.